IOC Provides Spanish Olympic Committee With $1M For Creation Of New Anti-Doping Project
The IOC has allocated more than $1M to finance a "Spanish investigation project called to revolutionize current drug testing methods," according to Almudena Rivera of MARCA. The project "includes an alternative to biological passports." The project was presented on Wednesday by oncologist Cristóbal Belda and endorsed by the Spanish Olympic Committee (COE). COE President Alejandro Blanco "believes investigation and science are the keys." Blanco: "What we have now is not sufficient to discover all the forms of doping and cheating. The path is investigation. We proposed this to [IOC President] Thomas Bach in December and he saw that this is a process that has ways to succeed, and above all, that it is a very secure project. ... We currently have to accept World Anti-Doping Agency and IOC rules but science has not stopped and we have to see where it is going. Doctors believe that the project is very trustworthy and that when the process concludes, it will be a maximum-security system for detecting doping" (MARCA, 7/2). AROUND THE RINGS reported 50 scientists contributed to the creation of the program, which will "improve blood sample analysis by developing tests of the body's immune system that will indicate the use of banned performance-enhancing substances." Blanco called doping a "scourge" and said that the project's objective is to "protect clean athletes and apply stringent penalties to those who attempt to cheat." Spain has recently taken numerous measures against doping, including "harsh fines for those who deal doping substances and the creation of a new anti-doping agency." The country's "poor anti-doping record is thought to have contributed to Madrid's lack of success in three recent bids for the Summer Olympics" (AROUND THE RINGS, 7/2).